My journey with Alzheimer's disease began when I was a young girl. I was lucky enough to have all 4 grandparents in my childhood adoring me and applauding everything I did. When I was a young teen my maternal grandmother was affected by the disease although it was not diagnosed then. My mother dutifully and lovingly helped her father care for his wife. We did not live near them so many of our vacations were spent travelling to them to tend to the needs of our grandparents as they dealt with the downward battle of my grandmother's lessening abilities. The stories are endless and heartbreaking. My mother was amazing in her ability to keep things positive while being tremendously resourceful. Eventually my grandmother lost her battle. Time went by. My sister and I were now married and had children. My mother became, as expected, the grandmother that I had. She adored and celebrated my children as her mother had done to me. All was good. But then my mother became negative. My sister was planning her wedding which should have been a wonderful time for us but we noticed our mother being critical. She was disagreeing with things, arguing about details and making the experience very unpleasant. This was not at all the person we had grown up with. This was not the person that gave us the confidence to be great. This was not the person who made our worlds wonderful. Then it occurred to us with horror, this was not the person who had lovingly cared for her mother. We knew what was happening. We had her tested and confirmed she was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at age 62. We were devastated. We had so much to still do with her. She was still needed by our father, our kids, our husbands, us. How could this be? What would we do without our mother who had always been the one to lead us? And worse than all of that, what was she feeling? What could she understand? It was heartbreaking. She was always the one helping, guiding and encouraging all of us now she was going to become more and more dependent. We all had to find new strength. We had to recall the amazing ability she had taught us in caring for her mother. How to be positive and resourceful. We struggled but would never let her down and did anything and everything we could to maintain whatever level of dignity and life she had left at each stage. We spent as much time as we could with her. We evaluated her care needs and constantly changed them to make her feel as best as she could. We had live in care, assisted living arrangements, full care nursing home and ultimately she moved in with my family so we could be with her every morning and night. We did the best we could but she suffered. She missed a lot of life and we all missed what she could have given to us. She died in my home with my sister and I next to her in the bed. We knew that she would have wanted it that way. Life without her is lonely and I miss her every day. She taught us so much and is my inspiration in all I do.